Klien joins HRT as test and reserve driver 05 May 2010
HRT have signed former Red Bull and Jaguar racer Christian Klien as a second test and reserve driver. The Austrian joins Sakon Yamamoto, who arrived at the team in the same role last month. Klien will drive in Fridays opening practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix, providing car development support to race drivers Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna.
I am thrilled to be joining HRT F1 Team, said Klien. This role offers me the opportunity to rejoin the Formula One environment and drive again, which is naturally where my longer-term ambitions lie. I was in Bahrain and China and had a close look at the car already. I have also met the team members and I know quite a number of them from my previous race seasons.
I would like to thank (team principal) Dr Colin Kolles for the interest he has shown in me at this stage. It is exciting and very motivating to be part of a new team structure in such a challenging sport. At only 27 years with six seasons of F1 under my belt I am sure I can bring a lot of experience and enthusiasm into HRT F1 Team.
Klien, who came third in class in the 2008 Le Mans 24-hour race, was previously an F1 test driver in 2007 at Honda, also testing briefly for Spyker and Force India, then in 2008 and 2009 at BMW Sauber. His maiden season of F1 competition was with Jaguar Racing in 2004, aged just 21, after which he joined Red Bull Racing for two seasons in 2005-2006.
We are very proud to welcome Christian Klien to HRT F1 Team, commented Kolles. He is a young and fast driver. I have been keeping a close eye on him since his first races in the ADAC series as I believe he has great potential. We look forward to having Christian alongside us in Barcelona later this week so he can spend some valuable familiarization time with the team. As a young team we are looking for drivers who can grow with us.
Beside his F1 obligations, Klien will continue to compete in sports cars in order to gain as much racing mileage as possible.